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For those of us who take emergency preparedness seriously, it's important to keep our preps grounded in reality. Granted, it's always valuable to consider a wide variety of hypothetical “What If?” situations, even some that might be relatively rare. But we should still spend most of our time and energy preparing for the dangers that are most likely to impact us and our families. In other words, think less about alien invasions and more about common illnesses and injuries. The following infographic from Visual Capitalist shows how many people die each day around the world from a variety of causes — communicable diseases, chronic illnesses, accidental injuries, suicide, homicide, and many others.
Here's another interesting graphic from the same Visual Capitalist article:
The total death counts above are skewed by population, but it's mentioned that Russia has the highest death rate proportional to its population (34.7 daily deaths per million people).
So, what can we learn from all this? Unsurprisingly, heart disease is by far the most common cause of death. Cancer and respiratory diseases/infections are also serious threats. This should serve as motivation to take physical fitness seriously. Exercise and a healthy diet are perhaps some of the most overlooked steps towards preparedness — not only will you reduce your likelihood of death, but you'll also enhance your quality of life.
Above: Physical fitness isn't usually categorized as a “survival skill” but it's certainly one of the most important.
Avoiding drug and alcohol abuse also reduces your risk factors for several of the primary causes of death, as well as liver disease and overdose. Secondary effects of drug and alcohol abuse are linked to other major causes of death such as road injuries (e.g. drunk driving) and homicide (e.g. gang activity and drug deals gone wrong).
Above: Car crashes and other road injuries are the most common injury-related cause of death.
Aside from living a healthy and active lifestyle, the injury category is especially interesting to examine. You probably already know that driving a car is the most dangerous activity most of us do on a daily basis, but you might be surprised to see that the statistics for suicide aren't too far behind. Take your mental health seriously and check in on your friends and family members who might be struggling.
Drowning is another risk that's frequently overlooked, whether it's kids falling into swimming pools or adults getting carried out to sea by rip currents. Make sure your family members are comfortable around water from an early age, and be extremely cautious of flash floods if you're hiking or off-roading.